GRAFENW?ER, Germany (Jan. 29, 2016) — In accordance with the provisions of the Vienna Document 2011 on Confidence and Security Building Measures (VDOC11), one Russian colonel, one lieutenant colonel, and one first lieutenant completed an evaluation visit of the U.S. Army’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment, Jan. 20.
The Russians, accompanied by U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency and German Federal Verification Center Treaty escorts, arrived in Germany, Jan. 18.
Russia and the United States are both members of the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE, and have adopted the Vienna Document, under which OSCE participating States agree to make their military facilities periodically available for evaluation by other participating States.
This year, Russia chose U.S. Army Europe, specifically the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. Under the terms of the Vienna Document, the Russian team had 12 hours to evaluate the unit on Tuesday, Jan. 19. During the visit, they received a briefing and had the opportunity to see 2nd Cavalry personnel and equipment.
Evaluations are an integral part of the Confidence and Security Building Measures agreed to in Vienna. U.S. Army Europe was pleased to be able to showcase the 2nd Cavalry Regiment operations at Grafenw?hr to the Russian delegation.
The request of Russia to conduct an evaluation of this unit does not in any way indicate a crisis of heightening tensions. Each OSCE participating country has agreed to give full cooperation to such requests, and have been assured by Germany that inspectors from Russia will be accorded full rights and privileges in accordance with the Vienna Document 2011.
Russia recently conducted two Vienna Document Inspections involving U.S. Army Europe: one in November 2015 in Bulgaria during Exercise Peace Sentinel and one in August 2015 in Germany during Exercise Swift Response.
Exercise Swift Response, the largest allied airdrop operation in over 20 years, also received an Open Skies Treaty overflight by Russian military at the same time as the Vienna Document Inspection. The Russian Federation also conducted an Open Skies Treaty overflight in November 2015 over U.S. Army facilities in Baumholder, Mannheim, and Wiesbaden, Germany.?
In all of these inspections, the U.S. Army Europe has been proud to comply with the treaty requests and to showcase the work of our men and women in support of security in Europe.